I want to Thank each and every one of you who has taken the time over the past two weeks to call or write to be supportive during this very difficult time. It's been a rough few weeks and I feel that I need to explain a bit more clearly so that you all understand what exactly happened. I was notified by a friend that she had received an email from a concerned customer who had seen photos of my daughter, along with many other innocent children on a popular website that were mixed with . . . "Well, let's just say . . . not so innocent photos of children." Please note, that I am being VERY PC when I say that!!! When I went to this website to see for myself I was horrified to say the least. Indeed, there were photos of Abby mixed with disgusting images that are now forever etched in my mind. I immediately contacted this website and received NO help whatsoever. From there I took matters into my own hands and contacted authorities who I knew would be very interested and they were! I spent the next several hours on the phone with federal agents who were trying to get as much information as possible to apprehend the demented person who was doing this and remove those images from the web. Meanwhile, I paced the floors and tried to remain calm because I didn't want to alarm my children that something was terribly wrong. Of course, they saw right through me, but never discovered the truth. Within about 10 hours the photos were removed and I started to breathe again. However, then the real adrenaline kicked in and "Mama Bear" came out in full force and I was determined to do what ever it took to keep Abby safe and take her out of the spotlight. As you know, I closed down my blog to the public and then spent hours on my website making changes. For a brief moment I even considered closing down Olabelhe all together. Thankfully I regained sanity for a moment and decided against that but I did decide to keep my blog closed until now while I worked through all of this. As you know, I considered the password option but after more thought I knew that wouldn't work either. Yes, I know many of you from your lovely emails, and photos you've shared, but certainly not all of you who come to visit. Then I put myself in your shoes and thought about what you might be thinking and I thought about how I might feel if I was suddenly shut out of one of my favorite blogs. Like you, I have my favorites that I visit on a regular basis and I love reading about the author's life and family. To read about what they are doing and what projects they have been working on. I've shared in others excitement in everything from new babies and successful adoptions to terrible sadness when they experience a tragic loss and everything in between. It's actually very odd when you think about it, but you truly become invested in complete strangers lives and you think of them not as strangers but rather as friends that you just haven't met yet. Then I knew that I had to reopen my blog. Please understand that my intentions were not to shut out my readers, but rather to keep out the creepy pigs who like looking at pretty little girls.
Thankfully, time does help. Along with talking with friends and family to work through this roller-coaster of emotions has proved to be very beneficial. I know that this was an isolated incident and that 99.9% of everyone who comes to visit has innocent intentions but as with all things it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch. It's been quite an experience and I've learned a lot about on-line predators and other things I never thought I would ever have to think about but now I am much wiser and I am taking steps to become even more safety conscience. In the end no real harm was done except to my sanity and I am reminded of how much I love my children. I know you can all relate to some time in your lives when someone did or said something against your child and you loose all sense in a split second. This incredible love for these miracles that enter our lives is like no other and I think only a mother can understand that.
So onward and upward. My blog is back and my head and heart or well on their way back to their usual happy place. Now to just get through the holidays and then back to sewing! I have lots of ideas for Spring and I can't wait to get started. Thank you all again for all your kindness, understanding and friendship.